It is with gratitude towards our heavenly Father that I approach the end of 2014. Much has happened during the past year and we thank the Lord for His faithfulness. Again I want to thank all our sponsors, members and friends for the way in which they supported us. I wish you and your families a well-deserved rest and many blessings during the festive season.
I look forward, Lord willing, to work with you again in 2015. Please remember us in your prayers. Pray for workers to send into the field. The needs are many.
To the office staff I want to say that I appreciate all the valuable work that you have done. Without you we at Doctors for Life would not be able to fulfil our commitments
– Dr Albu van Eeden
Until very recently the most dominant use of the internet has been pornography. Social Networking has finally passed pornography as society’s internet habit. Online pornography is a multibillion dollar industry where every second over 3000 dollars are spent.(1)
- Every second 28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet.(2)
- Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography on the internet.(2)
- Every second 372 people are typing the word “adult” into search engines.(2)
- 40 million American people regularly visit porn sites.(2)
- http://dailyinfographic.com/the-stats-on-internet-pornography-infographic (2014)
- Khaled, E., & Tarek, S. 2012. Innovations and Advances in Computer, Information, Systems Sciences, and Engineering. Springer Science & Business Media. (page 483)
But there is also good news !!!
Doctors For Life is delighted with the outcome of their Court Application in the Western Cape High Court, challenging the licensing of On Digital Media T/A StarSat aka TopTV to broadcast the first three porn channels ever in South Africa. This court case has come out on the side of women, children and families in South Africa who are the ones most harmed by pornography. Even though we are fully aware that the Internet is by far the biggest provider of porn in South Africa, (which is barely filtered) it does not justify adding three TV channels to the existing stream of smut pouring into the country. It is now well established scientifically that (through its effect on the mesolimbic reward system and the consequent changes through neuroplasticity) that pornography is addictive and destructive to the human brain and especially to the brains of minors.
Doctors For Life was instrumental in getting the Western Cape High Court to rule that the license to broadcast pornography was unlawfully granted.
Other issues of the day
Legalisation of euthanasia
DFL holds the view that suicide does not need to be legalised because a person who has committed suicide can anyway not be prosecuted. Even more strongly we hold the view that if society intends to legalise it they should not expect others to do the work for them.
Euthanasia can be divided into two sub groups: active euthanasia and passive euthanasia.
– During passive euthanasia the death of the patient is caused by the sickness. In active euthanasia the death of the patient is caused by the doctor.
– With passive euthanasia the doctor has the attitude of humility and surrender. In active euthanasia the attitude of control is taken.
– During passive euthanasia the purpose is to not unnecessarily lengthen the dying process. With active euthanasia the purpose is to cause the patient die.
However, there are a few problems with legalising active euthanasia/physician assisted suicide:
– Legalisation is based on vague terms like “unbearable suffering”, “excruciating pain”, etc. It is impossible to measure pain. What is “unbearable”. Whose scale will we use to measure pain, the patient’s, the doctor’s or the family’s.
– Active euthanasia creates ground for malpractice. It is impossible to avoid subtle pressure on the patient from by parties.
Contact Doctors for Life for more information on the issue.
Legalisation of dagga
– One of the most condemning facts against the legalization of dagga is the relationship between schizophrenia and dagga use, which has become dominant in medical literature over the past few years. A number of studies have shown an association between chronic cannabis use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia.
– Long-term cannabis abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite its known harmful effects upon social functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities.
– Cannabis intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that Cannabis’s adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.
– Other adverse effects of dagga include effects on daily life, the lungs and the heart.
Impressive March for Life
The National Alliance for Life an umbrella body for Pro-life organisations in South Africa was very excited with the large turnout of 2300 pro-lifers that turned up at the annual Durban event on 5 October 2014. People from all walks of life attended the march. Prof Pat McEwen, a veteran pro-lifer, from a pro-life group in the USA addressed a special workshop of NAL members the previous day on basic principles of body language, dress code, language use, etc., when speaking with the media.
Members from Parliament and from the local city council were also present. A woman who travelled all the way to England to have a legal abortion before 1997 spoke at the start of the March. It was an unwanted pregnancy and she decided the child must be removed. On the theatre table she suddenly came to her senses.
The realisation of what she was doing literally made her jump up and walk out. Today this child is an asset to the South African Community. Life is precious and should at all stages be cherished. The consequences of taking an unborn life are devastating.
Your rights and the constitution
The following interpretation of the law expresses the views of the senior legal counsel to Doctors For Life International (DFL):
The Constitution is the ultimate law of the country and consequently if it would clash with another law, the Constitution would override the other law. These Constitutional Rights entitle you to the following:
-To resist in Court any attempt to refuse employment or to discriminate against you or to intimidate you into participating in induced abortion. You have the right to refuse to refer a patient to an Abortionist.
-To inform others of your ideas and views about induced abortion. Contrary to what the law says, the Constitution would even allow Health Workers to refuse to furnish any information concerning the rights of an applicant for induced abortion. It is important to take note that the clause in the draft abortion law that would have forced a Doctor or Nurse, who was unwilling to do an abortion, to refer the Patient to another Doctor/Nurse who would be willing, was scrapped before the bill was voted upon in 1997. (This was done under pressure from all the opposition parties at the time.)
You may not be forced to participate in any part of the abortion procedure; this would include anything from directly taking part in the abortion procedure, to making beds and caring for the Patient or even taking histological specimens to the laboratory.
You may refuse taking part in any part of the administrative process of arranging abortions at all levels of the health system.
You may not be refused work, dismissed or victimised in your work place because of your conscientious beliefs and objections concerning induced abortions.
If you do not wish to participate in induced abortion in terms of your lawful rights, you should make your viewpoint known as soon as possible to your employer in writing so that substitute staff can be arranged. You may contact DFL for more advice.
The LifePlace team is still going on regular outreaches to Durban at least once a week to speak to street prostitutes. None of the prostitutes we talk to are there because they want to be there; it is out of sheer desperation that they are driven to the streets. Many of the girls have no parents, nobody to turn to and thus fall prey to all kinds of dangers because of their vulnerability. The reality is that these prostitutes have siblings and children that are dependent on them.
What happens is nothing short of sexual exploitation, men’s power to exploit the vulnerability of women and girls. The advocates for the legalization of prostitution do not realize the harm that comes from it. The choice between poverty and prostitution is not a choice at all. Consequently DFL is of the opinion that prostitution should not be decriminalised and presented as a possible occupation to women in South Africa. On the surface, prostitution may seem for some like a victimless crime, but when you delve a little bit deeper you will be confronted with the devastating reality of the impact it has on a woman’s psyche.
My name is Nomfundo Manzi , mostly called Penny. The Doctors for Life team came to me with an invitation card, that offered help to end prostitution. I just said ‘let’s go’ because I was not happy with my lifestyle. I was a drug addict, using crack. I could not stop. No amount of money could satisfy my hunger for drugs and alcohol. I became a prostitute to support my drug habit. I was called “Madakwane, some named me ‘Black label’. I used to steal from my clients to get more money. My life was a mess, a disaster. My mom did not want anything to do with me. Through Doctors for Life I found peace with God. God weeded out the things He did not want in me. He is still weeding them out and planting what He wants in me. It is with thanks to Doctors for Life for what they do for the girls on the street.
To be set free from sin. Exodus 9:13, 34 and 35.
These days we will be celebrating Christmas. It is the time when Christ came to this world to set us free from the slavery of sin.
Exodus 9:13 teaches us that the reason Christ came to this world was to set us free in order for us to serve and worship God. And this is the reason why the Lord forced the devil to let us go so that we can worship Him. This is actually why we were created. It was not so that we can go and do our own thing, be it through the work we do, or our marriage or our time of relaxing. Its purpose must be to serve the Lord.
This is the reason why God pushed the devil into the corner where he had to let you and me go. It is also why God became man and later suffered, why He carried the cursed tree, why He hung on the cross and cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was forcing Satan to set us free so that we can go and serve Him. We ourselves do not have the strength to break free from Pharaoh. We should not deceive ourselves or let the devil deceive us. And the first step is Godly remorse: verse 34 and 35. This is what Pharaoh lacked. You may punish/chastise yourself and just feel more righteous and yet, without this gift nobody can enter into heaven. It is in a way also an eye of a needle through which everyone must pass in order to enter heaven. Godly remorse sets free and leads to life. The life for which Christ came to this earth and which we are celebrating this Christmas
Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches
During 2014, Doctors for Life had many opportunities to reach out to people in need. Not only could we help them in their physical needs but we could also help them heal their spiritual wounds. At the end of September 2014 we visited Mozambique. We went to an area called Muvamba situated about 100km south of Vilanculos. DFL assisted 212 patients with free medication and 23 people received reading glasses.
This brings the total number of people helped with eye glasses to well over 700. We also managed to do a record of 423 surgeries this year. In total we reached 5 very needy areas in 3 different countries with free medical care. The other countries reached were Botswana and Malawi.
During 2014 we also assisted well over 16,000 patients with free medical care at our clinic in Zavora, in Mozambique. The most treated disease remains malaria. In addition we helped about 250 women with deliveries.
Looking back at these outreaches we are thankful to God for what we could achieve.